This Year, Earth Day Has New Meaning To Me
One of my new cherished “stay at home” rituals has become sitting in a cozy chair by my front window, watching the sun rise, often with amazing streaks of pink and purple colors flooding the sky. It’s my few precious minutes before anyone else in my house wakes up, and while I’m not a mindfulness expert, I find after taking a few deep breaths, it’s easier to center my thoughts, and I can begin my day calmly, easing into what evolves into hectic work and family routines.
Later in the day, every single day now, I stop what I’m doing and take a walk around our neighborhood. I’ve watched winter turn to spring, and I’ve seen my favorite flowering trees begin to bloom. Again, I find I can breathe a bit deeper, “shake off” my hectic morning, and reset for the remainder of the day.
With this being the 50th anniversary of “Earth Day,” I feel incredibly grateful for what the earth is doing for me. During the scariest time we’ve ever seen, it is the steady predictable flow of the sunrise to sunset of the day that keeps me going. It is the very beautiful change of season that gives me a sense of steadiness and peace.
I am also thinking about the positive changes in the environment that have occurred in the relatively short time the world has been “sheltered at home”. Dirty rivers are running clear for the first time in years, skies are blue again over cities once covered by dense grey clouds.
I’m pushed by these reflections to consider more than just what the earth is doing for me. What am I doing for the earth? How am I contributing to the wellness of the earth, personally, at work, and globally?
Just like I’m not a mindfulness expert, I am also not an environmental expert. And just like I’m newly trying to take deep breaths and reset my thinking, I am also going to work daily toward reducing the impact that I make on this amazing planet of ours.
– Written by Jennifer Rosenfeld, JCC Chicago Director of Early Childhood